Goal: To empower the SOIC region though technology by working together to accelerate universal broadband connectivity and adapting web based tools for economic, social and educational development.
· Meet with service providers to discuss technical requirements for broadband capabilities and rollout plans.
· Act as clearinghouse for information related to internet growth, uses by industry and new developments
· Facilitate training seminars on the use of Web-based programs/sites/services for companies in southwest Oklahoma.
Lead Institution: Cameron University
Since the turn of the century, the knowledge based economy has been transformed into an innovative creative economy. Much of this change has been driven by the collaborative and interactive broad nature of the internet. The key role that the internet plays in our society, in education, and in business has emphasized the need for broadband connectivity. In the past decade, access to the internet was a dividing point between those who had it and those who did not. In today's economy, the divide is between those with high-speed broadband those with slow dial-up internet. For southwest Oklahoma to thrive, its citizens and businesses must have easy access to broadband connectivity.
High speed connectivity is just the starting point for economic growth. It is vital that businesses use the tools available on the internet to engage in the global economy. At the heart of web-based technology is the concept of collaboration. This collaboration can take place among colleagues and partners or between businesses and customers. Virtual Private Networks, wikis, and shared documents can be used to create a work environment that transcends geography. Not only is this important for connecting southwest Oklahoma with the world, but also for connecting the dispersed location within our region.
Through broadband connectivity, companies can explore new markets, grow their customer base, enhance customer relations, develop new products, buy and sell equipment, partner with other companies, find talent, manage their processes, market their products, and many other activities related to their success. While in some cases internet based businesses may develop and grow, the impact of broadband access will most widely be seen among existing companies integrating new techniques into current processes.
In the hyper-competitive and busy environment of today's economy, it can be difficult to remain current on all benefits that technology has to offer. Many of these web-based tools are available at no charge, so budgets do not need to dictate their use. Appropriate and relevant training is important for companies to fully exploit the benefits of web-based tools, site and services. Through the educational resources in southwest Oklahoma, SOIC-related institutions and partners can provide this training.
There are three parts to using broadband services to grow our economy. Having access to broadband connectivity is the first step in the process. This is followed by an awareness of the critical role played by the internet and learning the different ways to use it across all functions of a business. Finally, web-based tools must be incorporated into business at various levels. An internet-focused strategy that addresses each of these three parts can improve the economic development of southwest Oklahoma.